IoT. Everyone is talking about it. Even if they don’t know it, they are probably using it. So, what is it?
IoT stands for Internet of Things. Now I bet your saying, “I know those words individually but not put together!”. We all know the internet is where you watch cat videos, find recipes and download music. And things are material objects without life or consciousness; inanimate objects like raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens….no wait those are few of my favourite things.
The internet of things is a network of physical objects that are connected to the internet allowing them to send, receive and exchange data. Also known as smart devices. Some examples: cell phones, fitness trackers, heart monitors, alarm systems, thermostats.
There are four components to IoT devices:
Hardware – allows us to connect physical objects to digital items
Data – information collected from hardware
Software – analyses and interprets data
Connectivity – communicates the data to users
What are they good for The goal of smart devices and IoT is to improve our way of life. Smart phones keep information at your fingertips. Smart thermostats regulate your home environment and save you money. Wearable tech can help improve your health.
They are also designed to save time and brainpower. Your smart devices will do your everyday menial tasks and leave your brain free to explore more creative opportunities. I think IoT is going to lead us into another artistic revolution. With less thought spent on everyday tasks, our minds are free. Instead of trying to remember my grocery list I can think of the enjoyment my family will have when we consume these things. Instead of telling the kids to turn off lights when they leave, I can tell them I love them as they go up to their rooms. Instead of spending the day worrying if I locked the door, I can check it and focus on my job.
IoT can be as big or as small as we make it. Think smart cities where traffic and energy consumption are monitored, analyzed and controlled.
The future of IoT has limitless possibilities. Imagine…Your health monitor notices you had a restless night. books an appointment with your massage therapist, and alerts your doctor. Your smart watch knows when you wake and sends a message to your coffee maker. Your coffee maker starts brewing and realizes this is your 40th cup and that you will be out of coffee soon. It connects to your grocery store and orders your favourite brand. Your car starts because it knows you will be out soon to go to work. As it drives you to work, your phone reviews your schedule with you. If you get stuck in traffic, a message is sent to your boss informing them of the delay. Mornings are not looking so bad anymore.
Imagine…You fall on the ice and no one is around. You can’t reach your phone because it’s already in the car. Or you hit your head and are unconscious. Your smart watch notices that you haven’t moved in some time. Your smart car wonders why you haven’t gotten into it yet. Your devices alert local emergency services and they come to the rescue. All your health information has been sent ahead to paramedics and hospitals so you are not medicated incorrectly and the intake process is sped up. You are treated and home and healthy.
Imagine…your baby is napping in her crib. Your smart baby monitor notices that her breathing patterns have changed. It alerts local emergency services and sends you advice on what to do until they get there. The hospital is notified and your doctor is paged and everyone is ready by the time you arrive. Your baby is treated and on her way to recovery.
Sheli Comeau, Product Support and Training Specialist Missing Link Technologies ltd.